Friday, June 14, 2024

West Ham finalise Lopetegui appointment after Moyes departure

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 May 2024

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West Ham have confirmed the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach, following David Moyes’ departure at the end of the season.

Moyes’ second stint at the London Stadium came to an end with Sunday’s 3-1 final-day defeat to champions Manchester City, as the Hammers finished ninth in the Premier League table.

That was their third top-half finish in four full seasons under Moyes, who also led them to the Europa Conference League trophy last year.

However, a section of the club’s fanbase continued to criticise Moyes’ style of play throughout 2023-24, and it was announced at the start of May that he would not be extending his contract.

Reports immediately suggested Lopetegui was the leading contender to take charge, and it has now been confirmed that he will officially begin working with West Ham on July 1.

Speaking to West Ham’s media channels, Lopetegui said he was excited to start building a future at West Ham.

“I feel that we have a fantastic platform,” he said. “I think the last few years have been very good years to have this base, of course, but my ambition as a coach is always to be better and better, to achieve more and bigger aims and to encourage and improve the players, the team, and to compete because football is about this – to compete. We are very ambitious about this.

“I am where I want to be. I am here because I want to be here and, for us, it was a fantastic day when we closed our agreement here because our commitment is 100 per cent to be here.

“We had other opportunities, but I am very happy that West Ham chose me because I chose West Ham too, so we are really happy about this.

“We came here with the idea and the thought to make a big, big noise. That’s why we came here, and we are excited by this challenge.

“Of course, we are going to do our best to help the club and the team to achieve the best level and to achieve our aims. I assure the fans that they are going to be key in all our achievements.”

Lopetegui walked out of his previous role with Wolves on the eve of the 2023-24 season, having grown frustrated by a lack of transfer activity after saving the side from relegation in 2022-23.

He previously enjoyed stints in charge of Porto, Spain and Real Madrid, also leading Sevilla to Europa League glory and three successive top-four finishes in LaLiga.

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